Getting Our Stereotypes Straight

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Ali Frick notes Michael Goldfarb expressing some displeasure that the NYT editorial page's blog didn't like his candidate's dumb ads. Here's Goldfarb:

But in their new role as bloggers, the paper’s editors seem to have all the intelligence and reason of the average Daily Kos diarist sitting at home in his mother’s basement and ranting into the ether between games of dungeons and dragons.

Now here's the thing. Say what you will about RPG-loving nerds, but surely we recognize that these widely-loathed creatures are the very same widely-loathed nerds you could find in the BC Calculus class, taking AP Physics, or wasting time being taught Turbo Pascal. That's how we did things where I come from (admittedly, we played considerably more Diplomacy than AD&D but the principle is the same) at least, but I'm pretty sure that's the widespread stereotype. You can't, in other words, mock the nerds in the basement as being too dumb, it's just not right.

Meanwhile, yes, I assume that the NYT editorial board is not made up of folks who were the cool kids in high school. Was Goldfarb? It doesn't sound likely, but who knows. To speculate irresponsibly a bit, a lot of McCain's fans seem to me to be nerds who, instead of growing up and embracing their inner dungeon master, have instead decided that hanging out with the jock will make people think they're cool too.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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